Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Jami's School Achievement

There have been a lot of events in Jami's school in the past couple of months. We had Nutrition Month, Buwan ng Wika and Foundation Day and lastly, their field trip. I am so glad to be part of all these. I remember those are the usual school programs during my time and it was a good reminder now that I attend them not as the student but as a Mommy na! Emerged.. those good old days! Lol.

Anyway, during the first few weeks of school, I was really worried since Jami doesn't know anything about this new environment which I even blog here. Diba nga hindi naman kami nakapag prepare like going on a summer school? It was pure house training lang.

Fast forward to August, we had our fist quarter exam and long quizzes. I was so anxious we have to review every night on each subject they will take the next day. Good thing ganon na today because you can only focus on one subject unlike when I was a kid. Feeling ko sabay sabay lahat. Lol!


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The result came out all perfect!! I can't believe it! I was only expecting at least some checks but Jami proved me wrong. When their card was handed out, he was ranked 4th place over 23 students in their classroom. I was so happy! Imagine our of 23 students, naka top 4 pa ang anak ko!



Couple of weeks back, we had our second quarter exam without any expectations again. Although I was kinda nervous ulit, hindi ko alam if enough ba ang reviews namin every night. When I came home one night, his exam papers were given. I was doing the happy dance inside seeing all papers with perfect scores. This time, yung exams nila were 1-25 to 30 items na unlike nung first quarter na mejo konti lang.

Then two weekends ago, I went to their school to get his card. When I arrived, sabi ng mga teachers if I have a phone with me because they have posted the ranking sa blackboard.



Omaygad! My heart was pumping so hard!

Nag top 1 na sya!!!

The teachers were congratulating me. From top 4 to top 1? I cannot imagine really.

Now the challenge was to keep it that way. I always remind Jami to listen to teacher and ask questions if he doesn't understand something. Although the feedback that the teachers gave was very encouraging like Jami knows the answer and if he was asked by teacher, sumasagot agad. The only thing that we have to work on is his penmanship. Mejo mukang kinahig pa ng manok eh. Hahah!

Every weekend, we try our best to practice writing specially pag nakita kong bored sya in watching TV. I encourage him to practice and make him copy words na nakikita namin sa kung saan-saan. I think one thing that works for him is that, he looks forward to answering his books so that's what we use in reviewing his lessons. I also do my best to think of the things that he watches on TV, his favorite things or something he usually do so I can relate it to his lessons. In that way, mas natatandaan nya. Well, that's what I think and so far it's working naman.

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Like last night, he showed me their activity tracing letter K. The writing is terrible pa rin so I asked the name of the picture which was a 'kettle'. He doesn't know daw. I told him it was the kettle which we use in the kitchen that makes sound when the water is boiling. Ayon, na gets na nya. Haha! When he hears the kettle sounds, sisigaw na yan "Mommy yung init" so he's very familiar with it. Hindi lang nya alam na kettle pala ang tawag dun. :D

I am looking forward to next quarter and hopefully ma-maintain ni Jami yung nasimulan na nya. As much as possible ayaw ko naman na ma pressure sya but I encourage him to study and improve everyday. When I get home from work, bago pa ako mag bihis, tinatanong ko na yan kung anong ginawa sa school tapos we will check his books and notebooks before I eat dinner. We have been doing that since the start of the year and Jami has improved a lot. He recognizes the books they used for the day so hindi na ako hirap mag hanap.

Honestly, I didn't imagine Jami to do good in school. Sobrang malikot nga kasi sya, paikot-ikot sa room and sometimes hindi nagpa participate sa group works. But then, those are the things that he does at the start of the school. Since July kasi, parents are not allowed inside the compound so I am not sure if his behavior has improved too. I guess it did because he had high grades this second semester. I am praying that he will continue the best things that he is doing now. It really brings honor to the family.

Good job to our baby! We love you!

Monday, November 6, 2017

SSS Loan Restructuring Program

Part of my goal last year was to pay my SSS loan that I took late 2012. This wasn't done so I had to recycle this goal to this year. Good thing, they have a restructuring program that's open to those who has a delinquent loan status.

Just to give you a background, I took out the loan without knowing where to put the money. Maka-loan lang ganun! Hahah. I cannot remember if somehow, I had the need back then but definitely don't remember using it to something worthwhile. I submitted the voucher 3 months late to our payroll because I didn't know that I had to. Basta tinago ko lang and I thought it will be automatically deducted na. Hay naku, those days na batang-isip ka pa talaga.

I know I have mentioned before that I tried to pay this off when I get back to corporate 3 months after giving birth to Jami but our company said I cannot since it's near maturity date daw. Good thing, the SSS Loan restructuring program opened its opportunity last year up to April 2017.

When my schedule allowed me, I took advantage of the program to finally settle my outstanding loan with SSS.

How to Apply in SSS Restructuring Program 

 

Photo from sss website
Applying for the program is easy.
  1.  You just have to go to the nearest SSS branch and ask about the Loan Restructuring Program.  
  2. You will be asked to fill out a form. Lining up can take a while but surely it will be worth the wait. When you're called, bring the paper back to the staff for processing. Take note that they require you to notarize some papers/forms.
  3. You will be asked to wait for your name to be called again. This time, the paper works are ready and the staff will explain to you how much your amortization will be depending on how long you wish to pay for your balance. Once agreed, you will then sign the papers. Copies will be given for your own records along with a voucher like paper.
That's it! Or at least how I remembered it was. It just took a little over an hour waiting for my name to be called which I understand since it was the last couple of days of the program. You may check SSS website as to when the offer will recommence.

Paying the SSS loan is very convenient since you can drop by at any bayad center, Department Stores etc. I am paying mine here in Savemore, Chino Roces and so far so good. I haven't visited the SSS branch yet to confirm if my payments are going thru, but for my own records, I kept all the receipts just in case I need it in the future.

My SSS loan reached Php24,000++ because of interests and penalty. The principal amount was only Php15,000. Because of the restructuring program, I was able to minimize it to Php18,000. They removed the penalty charges around Php6,000+ which was a really big help. Sayang din yung Php6,000 ha. Anyway, I have decided to pay it for 24 months. I want to be able to pay it slowly but surely. Yeah, sayang yung interest rate charged for another year instead of paying it for 12 months lang but I opted to stick to my budget of less than Php1,000/month. I think it will be better knowing that I will be able to pay it slowly kesa mapasubo ako to pay more than my budget could allow tapos magmi miss din ng payment diba?

As of the moment, I was able to pay 6 months of my monthly dues so that means I have 18 months left. Thinking of it that way makes paying the loan easier than to think of it as if one and a half year ko pang babayaran. Lol! Hindi ko nga na feel na pang 7th month ko na this November.

Being under the restructuring program allow the members to pay the loans easier and be able to get back to non-delinquent status. During the course of the loan, the member is not allowed to apply for salary loan. You can only do so 6 months after your paying term. That means I will be able to take out a new loan November 2019 pa which is fine because I am trying to avoid taking out new loans. =) By the way, if any chance you missed the payment in three consecutive months, the penalty amount taken from your loan will be returned back. At least that's how I remembered the staff's explanation. If you have further questions about the program, please call the SSS hotline 920-6446 or visit any branch.

I know being able to pay my loan from SSS is a huge relief. Ang lakas maka feel ng financial freedom! Loooll!! Hahaha joke lang. But yeah, it feels good paying your debts and knowing that you don't need a new debt to cover the previous one. =)

When I get the chance to visit the SSS branch, I will update this post to confirm that all my payments are indeed being submitted correctly. For the meantime, let's assume that it is and all is well. =)

Friday, November 3, 2017

Jami's 4th Birthday Celebration


It took a long while before I post another entry ano? Mejo naging busy lang ako setting family goals, hehe. I also re-opened my small time business so during free time at home, yun lang ang madalas kong gawin. I have no time to check things online kaya during office hours, mejo busy ako kakacheck! Lol!

Joke lang. =D

Syempre nagwo-work ako! Hahaha.

Anyway, one of the things that I look forward this year was Jami's 4th birthday. Since he started going to school, I know he got to at least celebrate one birthday at school. It was a perfect timing they still have regular school on the day of his birthday (fell on a Monday) but wasn't doing too much school stuff anymore because they are about to go on semester break.

It was Nanay whom I asked to speak to the teacher about the plan. His classmates have been celebrating birthdays in the school too, almost every month meron, minsan twice to thrice a month pa ang may birthday. Jami wanted to celebrate his birthday at school too since nakikita nga nya that his classmates sing happy birthday to the celebrant. Eh bida-bida tong anak kong to kaya gusto nya din ganun! Hahah. Last minute, Jami wanted to celebrate his birthday at home na lang kaya lang, nakapag notify na kami sa school.

I have decided to order Jollibee meal the night before his birthday. Since we were on a tight budget, I only ordered what I think the kids could eat in school. I don't want to go all out since we still have to allot a budget to celebrate at home. We had Jollibee Spaghetti and Yum burger which cost me more than Php 2,000 for 23 students plus 3 Jollibee Spaghetti with Chicken for his teacher. The crew I spoke to doesn't recommend to add fries, shanghai or even drinks dahil madaling mag lapse yung food. I actually ordered exact number of meals only, walang pasobra dahil may food pa naman sa bahay for lunch.



I have paid the orders in full so I only have to pick them up early next day. Our pick up time was 9:30am and the food has to be ready at 9:20am. It was a breeze placing such amount of order in Jollibee Casimiro.  Please bear in mind that only orders Php3,000 and up can be delivered for free. We arrived just in time and I am really glad that the food was ready so we didn't waste any time. The party will start at 10am and I want to be there earlier than that. On our way back to the school, I saw a local store that sells Dan Erics ice cream so I ordered 28pcs of regular ice cream in a cup for 10/each, bought Zesto tetra pack the night before for their drinks and an 8x8 dedication cake from Red Ribbon for candle blowing. I was really looking to buy a custom-made cake for Jami but I have decided last minute to buy local cakes.


When I was asked to go inside, we prepared the cake and his classmates sang Happy birthday song for Jami. I can see that he was overwhelmed and a little shy since nasa harap sya ng classroom! OMG, I was really happy kasi I never experienced that during my school days. Mga RK (rich-kid) lang talaga yung may kaya nyan before. Hahaha! We then distributed the food to the kids with the help of the teachers.


It was a very simple birthday party for a short period of time but the happiness it brought me, Daryl and Jami are beyond measure. For someone who didn't get the chance to do something like that, it feels surreal! hahaha OA lang. But yeah, thinking about it now makes me feel happy, - for Jami. I am so happy Daryl and I made this happen together. He did absent himself from work just to help me out and witness this new milestone for Jami. =)

After the school party, my sister and Sab arrived. They played for a little while and ate what's left in school (they had 3 absences) kasi wala pang food. I called Ambers in Las Pinas for delivery but because of the volume of orders they received that day, they can accommodate and deliver mine at 1pm pa daw. I agreed na lang since it will also take time if we order over the counter sa branch nila. I bought another cake so Jami could blow one at home. Yan lang naman ang dreams ng batang yan, mag blow ng candle hahaha!


I have been asking him the whole day if he's happy and he kept on saying "Yes". That's what's important naman diba? Ako, I don't care if we don't have so many visitors as long as our families are there to celebrate with us. As long as Jami's happy, his Daddy and I are happy.

Dear Jami,

You've grown up to be a super kulit but sweet and smart boy! I am really surprised how you do academically. I know we have very limited time to do "study time" at home and we can only do it if it's exam week but you never failed to do your best and understand your lessons. I feel pressured actually sa dami ng perfect scores mo, I don't know why! hahaha. Joke lang naman kasi Anak yung sinabi ko sayo na "gusto kong umakyat ng stage sa graduation mo eh". Hahaha! I was just kidding and was only trying to challenge you but yeah, you're doing it! Hindi ko nga alam kung naintindihan mo ba that's why I am so surprised every time you come home with perfect exams. I want you to keep doing it. Don't be afraid of change and that always try your best in everything that you do. I know you still have a lot of things to learn and I am quite unsure at times if what I am doing is right. I am praying so hard that God help us to guide you and mold you to a better person in the future. I want you to reach for your dreams but never ever afraid of failing. Just keep trying! I love you my baby! You are the best thing that ever happened to Daddy and Mommy and we couldn't ask for more. 

Again, Happy Birthday and wishing you good health, be smart and a good, loving heart. I love you! =)


Monday, October 30, 2017

Bacolod - Silay Heritage Houses Tour

Right after our day tour in Guimaras, we headed to the port to catch the 8pm fastcat to Bacolod.We arrived early so we waited until cars and buses are allowed to alight the ship (wow maka ship??) hahaha! We bought the business class for Php 350 for adults and Php150 for kids.

Haggard na yung bangs! Hahah.

Anyhow, we were kinda tired so we only took the time to take a rest. We didn't even have the time to eat dinner before boarding. Since my sister have a lot of snacks with her, we contented ourselves with it. Yun nga lang sobrang mahal ng cup noodles so mejo sad lang.

It took less than two hours when we reached Bacolod. Our hotel is around 10-15 minutes away via car so it wasn't a hassle at all. Transportation is what I love about this trip. We don't have to hire vans or cars or pay an expensive all-expense-tour to each city we go to. At some point nakatipid din because my sister didn't ask me to pay for gas hahaha! #perksofhavingasister

We stayed in The Inns Bacolod (click on the link to see photos from Agoda) which is just along the highway and a walking distance away from city proper. I actually took the cheapest room since it was just me and Jami plus Nanay. Although I didn't expect the bed to be too small, the ac kinda too noisy and the room isn't well lighted, and a very small blanket, I get what I paid for. The lobby was nice though and the breakfast is included in our stay. What would you ask for paying Php800/night? A television is available which is somehow important for me since it will make our stay a little less stressful dahil may pagkakaabalahan si Jami.

Since we had a late check-in, our first night was only to take a rest and get ready for the next day. Our original plan is to go to Campuestohan Resort for a whole day of swimming and fun and have a city tour on our last day before Jami and I head back to Manila, while my sister and family go to Cebu. Unfortunately, we were very tired the next day due to our very hectic schedule the day before so we opted to take our breakfast and leave around 10am for our city tour.

We passed by El Ideal Bakery to have our lunch and buy some take home food - supposedly pero money is tight hahaha and what I am looking to bring home is the Napoleones which is a known delicacy in Bacolod. I would say that I enjoyed the Sizzling Bangus meal that I ordered! Ang sarap eh. =)

Inside El Ideal Bakery

We took photos outside El Ideal which by the way along the highway so my brother-in-law has to take the photo from the other side of the highway pa and wait for the cars to clear out before mag take ng picture! Haha! It was really funny I remembered our buwis buhay shot in Sinking Bell Tower in Ilocos. =D

When we reached Silay, our first stop was the Bernardino Jalandoni House Museum. Unfortunately, it's closed every Monday! How could we not check the schedule?!

So we have no choice but to head on to the next house, Balay Negrense.

At that point we realized that we went on the day where these houses are closed! So please bear in mind not to go every Mondays! Lol!.


Although Balay Negrense was closed, we were able to take pictures outside and roam a little bit. It was really funny because Jami was freaking out when we headed to the left side of the house where the huge balete tree is located. When we were walking towards the side door to ask the caretaker if we can go in, Jami started to panic and said "Mommy! Let's get out of here!" with a very scared and worried look. Syempre kinabahan naman ako ng bongga diba? He might be seeing something I can't see so I carried him and asked what's wrong? I didn't get mad because I know that he was telling the truth and not making a scene lang.

We were told they are closed so we don't have a choice but to leave early. =( We passed by the Cinco de Noviembre and had a quick photo op too.


It was quite hard to take photos of the whole place because it's located on an intersection of a busy street. We only spent couple of minutes here since there's nothing much to do but a photo op.

We assumed that most heritage houses are closed every Mondays so we have no choice but to go back to Bacolod. I was really scared with Jami's little tantrum dun sa Balay Negrense baka kako na insidious na! Hahaha! He was whispering to his unan which by the way, he can't live without. Pinakikinggan ko kung anong sinasabi baka kung ano na. Hahahah! #paranoidlevel9999

We passed by a Calea store where my sister bought two slices of cakes (different flavors) we could try. I have heard this dessert shop is very known to be selling heavenly tasting cakes. Even before I went here in Bacolod, it is highly suggested to go there and try their cakes. Being a self proclaimed baker that I am, haha! syempre gorabels tayo jan. The verdict? I wasn't that impressed actually. As far as I can remember hindi masyadong sweet, which is fine, hindi nakakaumay. But I don't think this is the best cake shop of them all. Lols! We've also tried Felicia's which is inside SM, hindi sila nagkakalayo ng cakes ni Calea. I am not sure if we picked the wrong flavors but I think they may deserve a second try next time I visit Bacolod. We also passed by the Negros Occidental Capitol on our way to SM Bacolod which was also a nice and clean spot despite the fact that it's in the heart of the city. We were looking to take better photos but it rained a little and it's off limits to people. =(

For our dinner, my sister being the in-charge of this whole trip suggested we should try the Manokan Country. Eh saan ba galing ang inasal chickens diba? Why not try yung mga legit. Si Mang Inasal lang kasi ang na try ko dito sa Manila. Haha! Good thing, the place is located beside SM lang. It was a long karinderya-style place and you can choose which local store you should try. We went inside one (forgot the name) and ordered chicken inasal.

My sister noticed that the restaurant we went into had a branch in Makati. I just can't remember the name of the resto, I'm so sorry! Momnesia attack! =D

We actually just planned to go straight to The Ruins after before sunset since it's the perfect time to visit the place however, nagkalimutan na because of loads of chikahan after. We decided to go there tomorrow morning then Campuestohan Highland Resort after. We went back to the hotel after.

When we were settled down, we realized walang water so my sister and I walked around 5 minutes and we were in the center of the city. A lot of establishments and the streets were still kinda busy.

All in all, Bacolod City offered a lot of places to go to. It was a nice and clean city. I was hoping we had more time to go to Lakawon or even re-visit the museums and houses. Well, there's always a next time right? =) I now I lack so much pictures during this part of the travel. I guess I don't have much energy minding the little one and getting all the poise together no? Hirap din pala. Hahah! Di bale, I'll do better next time. I should blog about our last day in Bacolod soon to finally finish the posts that are looong over due! =D

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Nailaholics celebrate #NationalPamperingDay again!

Being the busy mothers that we are, having breaks are necessary from time to time. Pampering usually is on the top list as it doesn't require that amount of time and money to get one.
 
When it comes to pampering on a national scale, Nailaholics Nail Salon and Spa holds the only spot. After introducing the celebration of the National Pampering Day last year, Nailaholics is back at it again this 2017 with an amplified nationwide celebration of relaxation that everyone is looking forward to this October 17

The National Pampering Day got off to a good start last year where Nailaholics offered free manicure service and a stress relieving hand massage from 10 AM to 12 NN on all their branches nationwide. This year, everyone will be treated to a free service of their choice: a soothing manicure, calming foot spa or a relaxing foot massage. 

“We Filipinos are very hardworking in any given aspect of our lives and a nation of energetic and industrious people best deserves real pampering once in a while. This year, as Nailaholics celebrates the 2nd National Pampering Day, we go deeper and dedicate this to everyone and remind them to take it slow, take it easy, zone out and relax for a while.” said Arvin Amaro, Marketing Head of Nailaholics Nail Salon and Spa. 

“With last year’s success of the National Pampering Day, we are back this year with a bigger and much more enjoyable day of pampering. In partnership with the number one salon brand and most beloved nail lacquer brand in the world, O.P.I., National Pampering Day 2017 will accommodate more guests with the extension of pampering time until 1PM.  Also, the best thing about this year’s National Pampering Day is that it will be in support to World Vision, The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), and Save Philippine Seas” added Amaro. 

So save the date and get ready to park away any thoughts of work because the only responsibility you have is to loosen up. Wind down and head down to any Nailaholics Nail Salon and Spa branch on October 17, 2017 (Tuesday) from 10 AM to 1 PM and get yourself a free relaxing manicure, foot spa or foot massage. 

Let Nailaholics’ skilled nail technicians take care of you for a little while and walk out of this Hamptons-inspired nail salon feeling refreshed and ready to bring it on again. Grab this once a year treat only at the country’s top destination for relaxation and real pampering. 

Visit www.nailaholics.com to check their services and find the branch nearest you. Get updates through their Facebook Page Nailaholics Nail Salon and Spa, Twitter @_nailaholics and Instagram @_nailaholics.
 
Nailaholics is an urban destination that offers its customers an escape from the daily grind through its exceptional interiors and exceptional pampering service. It currently has more than 50 branches nationwide, including in Gateway Mall, Eastwood Citywalk, Cash and Carry Makati, Harbor Point Mall Subic, SM Cebu, SM Bacolod, and SM Lanang.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Re-visiting Goals for 2017

It's 5 months before the Holidays!

Can you believe it? Sobrang bilis ng panahon!

Imagine! August na ngayon? How could it be? Samantalang parang kahapon lang nung nag birthday ako?!

So how're your goals doing? Are you on track or lost? Last month was the perfect time to reassess your goals and re-visit the plans you have listed down. The next best time is today. We still have 5 months before the year ends and for me, there's still a chance to go back on track.

If you wish to look back on the goals I have written early this year, please feel free to read through.

I seriously had some ups and downs this year and there were areas that I felt I achieved earlier than what I expected while I lack some courage to push on the other.

To make my goals a lot more manageable, I divided it into sections.

Personal Goals

I wrote down 7 goals and I am at 3 out of 7 at the moment. I am looking to accomplish more than that for the remaining months of 2017. I am happy how it turned out so far and I'll do my best to make it happen. =)

  • Attend Workshops -  I haven't done anything related to baking so far since I got so busy and focused with my new role in the office. Gusto ko muna kasing magamay ang lahat although I am looking to go back to baking anytime soon since it's almost BER months were baked goods are at its peak.
  • Hair Transformation - Eto wala pa talaga because I have a lot of financial things going on at this point that are much more important. However, this can be done throughout the year.
  • Vaccine -  rainy days are here and virus are everywhere due to inclement weather. Last year, we were able to get a cheaper price here in the office but it's different now. It's 50% price increase so I decided to look elsewhere. Good thing Jami isn't catching any virus just yet. I will have to contact his pedia for a cheaper flu vaccine in the coming days/weeks.
  • Loose Weight -  I was able to loose 8kgs in a matter of 3 months. I stopped at 57kgs since I am hearing a lot of side comments na wag na daw masyadong magpapayat. Honestly, I like my body now, I just need to have to work it out to make all muscles firm. Next move: Maintain the weight. :p
  • Read another book - I wrote that I want to read new books about finances. I haven't done one but I was able to read Harry Potter books - all of them. Next move: Read another book.
  • Be Punctual - This doesn't apply to my work at this time since we have a flexible schedule. I am part of another team now that handles back office tasks so schedules aren't that strict. Just as long as we go to work at a time we are expected to, all's good. I would like to tag it success because I was able to limit the amount of late to only twice in the first 3 months of the year which resulted to being promoted to work. =) Next move: Continue the hard work.

Family Goals

Family  is really important for me so to strengthen the bond, I separated my goals for my family. So far, we were able to reach 3 out of 5.
  • Travel - this year, we had more travel than what we have expected. Having that said, I could say we could stop at that for the year and plan na lang where to go next year.
    • Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte
    • Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort, Calatagan Batangas
    • Gigantes Island in Ilo-ilo
    • Guimaras Island
    • Bacolod City
    • Next Move: Save up for for travel fund (for next year).
  • Family Time - I am glad to say that we are spending more time together because we only have limited time everyday. Daryl started working last month so we barely see each other during weekdays or weekends. His rest days are on weekdays and mine is on weekends. Even so, when we get the chance at home, we often cuddle and make time for each other including Jami. Next Move: movie time. =)
  • Home Cooked Meals - We have been working on eating home cooked meals. Aside from the fact that we are trying to cut cost, I want to make sure that the food they eat are clean. So far, I would say it's a success since I am planning our food sometimes. Next move: Consistency in planning meals! 
  •  Staycation and Photoshoot - are the two least priority of all. When our finance allow, we'll proceed with it but surely, I can go by without these muna because I need to focus on building funds first.

 Relationship Goals

  • Eat Out/Date Night/Movie together/Spa Together - Well, Daryl started working and we have different rest days so we really can't do this soon. Quite frankly, we don't have a budget for it and we are trying to live below our means so this can wait. I sure enjoy the days we spend kulitan in the house and I am contented with that. 
  • Cuddle and Kiss more often - Yes! We are cuddling more than the previous year! Hahaha. I mean, we fight less now since we have one thing to stop fighting about - money. I also realized that we have to cuddle and kiss often to keep the fire burning so if there's a chance, before he goes to sleep or vice versa, cuddle cuddle muna. =)
  • Complement more - I do complement him not that often but if I get the chance and he does something really need to praise. I thank him for his hard work now that he helps with the bills and rent. I also say nice things when I noticed something new with him like hair. 
  • Understand each other more - It has always been me who's hot tempered among us so I did a lot of effort to at least minimize the amount of negative thinking. When we are about to argue, I am trying my best not to let the arguments get longer or if I am being sensitive to what he's saying, I am trying to think less. Although I am hot-tempered on some minor things, I could easily forget what I am mad about after some time. With that, we kiss and make-up quite easily pero he has to get ready with explanations when I remembered why I was mad 2 weeks ago. hahahaha! Baliw lang.

Financial Goals

  •  Beef up Emergency Fund -I know! Eto na naman tayo sa emergency fund hanggang ngayon wala pa rin! Hahaha! We just had a lot of expenses the last 7 months so it was really a struggle to save money. Also, I don't know what happen but because of debts, I was so scared to budget our money because I know it's going to be negative. It turned out really bad for the last couple of months. Good thing Daryl started his new job in June which means we will be able to catch up on this part. We still have 5 months before the year ends so hopefully kahit 1 month worth of expenses lang makapagtabi kami. Next move: Save at least a month worth until December.
  • School Fund - I was really looking to pay for Jami's tuition in cash however, the second quarter of the year went quite bad so we took the installment instead. The amount is manageable and since I started budgeting the money again last month, it's going really well and never felt a burden. Next move: Start saving in November up to May for next school year.
  • Coin to Piggy Bank - Just last month, I got hooked in saving 10 peso coins! I have read a lot of 50 peso challenge where every 50 peso bill that comes in to your hands, it's invisible for spending and should go to savings immediately. Since money is tight, I know the most that I can manage is 10 pesos and so far, I have collected some that I am looking to deposit to my ATM which will be used for the coming holiday season in December. =) Next Move: Continue collecting and deposit the money on ATM for holiday fund.
  • Travel Fund - No travel fund for the rest of the year since we had a lot of traveling for the first 6 months. I am looking to save some when our debts are fully paid. Next move: Plan our next travel and save for it before summer next year.
  • More Sideline/Additional Income - we are restarting our business so we could pay our debts faster and get more money saved. Next move: Earn from these sidelines to finish paying our debts.
  • SSS Loan Update - I was able to take advantage of SSS' loan restructuring program late April so I am now paying my old salary loan slowly. So far, I managed to pay 4 consecutive months which I'll share with you on a separate post. Next move: Continue paying for the next 20 months.
These are the goals I have listed down when the year started and the status of each goals so far. I am so glad that I am making progress in most of them. It's a good thing to look back at them once in a while to make sure that these goals are up to date and will have at least a tiny progress.

How about you guys? Kamusta ang mga goals? Buhay pa ba? Hehehe!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Day Tour in Guimaras Island


Guimaras is so close to Ilo-ilo city, it's 15 minutes away so our original plan was to make it on the second day for a tour then early morning for our island hopping. However, we got all tired after our Gigantes Island and the way back so we enjoyed our stay in Circle Inn Hotel for the remaining hours of our day two.

Early morning of our third day, we skipped breakfast and headed to Ortiz wharf which is walking distance away from the hotel. My sister paid for our fare that costs Php14/head while the kids are free. We were asked to register our names then headed off to the docking area. Immediately, a boat is available to pick us up. It was a big passenger boat where bikes and motorcycle can be transported to and from Guimaras. We left couple of minutes after when every one else have settled down.



We only waited for about 10-15 minutes when we reached Jordan port in Guimaras. Transportation are available every couple of minutes so commuting isn't a problem.

There was a man who offered a tour in Guimaras. Since we didn't have reservations, we bargained with him. Of course bago mag tawaran, we took pictures where a Guimaras sign with a big mango was. It was a good thing it's quiet hidden, wala masyadong tao kaming kasunod. Lol!




Going back to bargain, the manong offered us the multicab tour for Php 2,000 but we managed to bring it down to Php1,500. Perks ng may ateng charming! hahahah. Well, sabi nya kasi "bakit sa online Php1,500 lang?" Hehe. So the manong gave in and just ask us to wait for couple of minutes until the multi-cab is ready. We were a total of 6 adults and 3 kids so we fit in to the cab comfortably. Oh by the way, we decided to take the light house and skipped the wind mill since it's quite far daw and we have to make additional payments. Due to a very constricted time, we would rather visit the light house since we were able to see the best wind mill so far - the one in Ilocos - Bangui Wind Mill (Farm).

Smallest Plaza

The Smallest Plaza is just along the way so we had our stop over for some pictures. The driver said that it's in the Guiness book of record for making it to being the smallest plaza there is. It was just a quick stop over so I don't have a nicer photos. We used my sister's phone and opted to go to Island hopping first before going to island tour.





We headed straight to Raymen's beach where our driver made an arrangement for our island hopping. We were expecting for it to be about Php500 for the first hour then Php150 for the succeeding hour. The driver went back and said that the resort ran out of boat for hopping but he managed to convince another boatman for Php1000 for 3 hours of island hopping. There's a Php200 difference but to avoid anymore hassle, we said we'll go. We didn't have a reservation, you see so we can't be so sure if the driver made additional profit of Php200 out of it. Just so we can get over with, we decided to take the offer.

Ang hirap mag maintain ng bangs ha! :p


Alubihod Beach

Raymen's Beach Resort is located in Alubihod beach. This beach has a fine sand with nice and clean water so the family could definitely enjoy it. There were a lot of people going on swimming that day so to save time, we decided to proceed with our island hopping tour. The boat picked us on the farther left of the photo above.

The boatmen said that waves were kinda rough so there were places that we can't go to. We passed by Turtle Island (where Turtles lay their eggs), Baras Cave, and Fairy Castle. We weren't able to go to Baras Cave because of the strong waves, while we didn't drop by to Fairy Castle and Turtle Island. Instead, the boat men brought us to Ave Maria where we had a little swim.

Ave Maria Islet

Mejo mabato at some part so better to wear an aqua shoe. There was also food for merienda being sold but expect it to be quite expensive.We spent a good 30 minutes swimming on the shallow part. Alam nyo naman, di ako marunong lumangoy. Haha!

Oh by the way, we save a dead pawikan on our way to Ave Maria Islet. Sabi ng boatmen, dead na daw yan! =(


I had a mixed feeling seeing this turtle this close. It made me sad na its dead but I am so excited to see it. The last time I saw one alive eh nung bata pa talaga ako, around grade 2? It made me so much more excited to go to Apo Island in Negros Oriental tuloy. hahaha! #travelgoals.

Our next stop was Lamurawan island. This island has a view deck where you could see 7 more islets.Take note that there's no entrance fee but a donation box placed before you descend back to your boat.

The view deck. Sayang naman, merong kahoy! =(
Our last stop was a newly built floating deck. We spent all the remaining hours of island hopping there because we can't visit the other location in our list. Please be reminded that the tour will depend solely on the condition of the sea. The boat is really small for it to go in an the open water specially if the waves are too risky.

Although our island hopping wasn't as exciting as it sound since we only visited a few, we had fun time on the floating deck where Nanay got the chance to jump 6-8ft high. Haha! The floating deck had a jumping site for some adrenaline rush.

Exactly 3 hours after, we head back to Raymen Beach to wash up. It was around lunch time when we came back and the sun was scorching hot but there were a lot of people enjoying the beach. I think there were also team building going on when we were there.

There were restrooms available near the beach but since there were plenty of people around, we have to wait for our turn. The worst part was, the water supply was very limited! As in malakas pa ang ihi ko compared to the pressure of water coming out of the shower. Sobrang frustrating at some point since you can't take a bath properly. Anyway, what you can do? Pagtyagaan na lang. I wondered if the supply inside their rooms were also like that?

Anyway, after some time, we were done so we head on to their restaurant to have lunch. Sorry no photos again, I don't know why I wasn't taking photos of our food. Sobrang gutom na, I guess? =D

I want to commend their restaurant. All the disappointment I had on their bathroom water supply were gone because they served delicious food, we enjoyed it. Take note that you can't trust me with food tasting ha? Mejo bias ako eh bilang picky eater talaga ako sa tunay na buhay! hahah. :P Mejo maliit nga lang yung restaurant nila so you have to wait during lunch time kasi mejo madami yung tao.

After our lunch, we headed back to our multi -cab so we could proceed with our island/city tour.

Guisi Light House


Since Guisi Light house is the farthest, this was our first stop for our city tour. From Raymen Beach Resort, it took around 20 minutes before we reached the location. Please be reminded that the multi cab can't take you to the actual Light house so you have to trek a little bit. It's a short trek by the way and the path is shaded naman so there weren't so much to worry about.

View along the way


When we get there, several group of people were there too not to mention that it was after lunch time so mainit talaga. What you'll see there was a light house ruin and the beautiful view of the beach with fresh air and cool wind.




I don't have much photos of the place since Jami fell asleep on our way here. I have to carry him on our short trek since I can't leave him alone sa multicab so tiis ganda talaga ako going up! hahah. I was so glad to finally see the end part and ang view, talaga naman nakakawala ng pagod. We spent arouind 20-30 minutes in this place just to cool down a bit. Guisi Light house asks for donation that you can drop on a box along the way. There were also souvenirs and local snacks being sold on your way. 

Our next stop was Trappist Monastery where souvenir items are being sold. Somewhat, this was Guimaras' most known souvenir store. There were ref magnets, bags, hats, local food pasalubong available at around Php35-Php150. 




I actually can't wait to try Mangoes of Guimaras at this point. Kating-kati na akong kumain ng mango being a fan myself! Our driver dropped us off in a small store on our way back to the town proper. He said it's cheaper there since the store have their own mango farm compared to the one's in the town proper na mejo pricey na. 

I bought around 1.4kgs of Mango as pasalubong. The price per kilo is Php65. O.M.G I can't believe it samantalang dito sa Manila, sobrang expensive na. Gusto ko talaga bumili ng madami kaso iniisip ko, it's just Jami and I on our way back to Manila so I can't carry all of it myself, so sad lang. =(

As soon as we got down the multicab, biglang dumami yung tao! Pakyaw levels din sila grabe! I said to myself, iba siguro talaga ang mangga ng Guimaras! Gusto ko na talaga kumain kahit 1 piece lang habang nasa byahe eh. Haha!


Our driver also dropped us along the highway with this wonderful view!

Our next stop was the Pitstop which was a restaurant that is known for their Mango pizza. It was in their town proper and can easily be found. It was around 2:30pm when we get there and I would say na blockbuster din pala talaga ang place. There were a lot of people probably because it was just right after lunch time. The place was quite small I would say and can get a little crowded on their peak hours. 

Haggard look na naman si ako! :D


My sister ordered their mango pizza (right photo) which is for me tastes quite interesting. Eh mango fan ako so syempre na enjoy ko diba? Instead of using tomato sauce, they used a mango puree (I think) with nuts and bell peppers. It's sweet so swak din sa mga kids although Jami is not a fan of mango so di nya gusto, mas prefer nya ang Hawaiian pizza (nothing fancy).  Don't ask me the price, nilibre lang ako jan! Hahah! 

After our merienda, my sister realized that we are behind schedule because she has to check out on our hotel in Circle Inn Iloilo. She booked for a half-day so the kids will have a place to rest while they pack away the luggage in the car. Hehe! We were rushing inside but the driver asked if we want to take pictures in Guimaras Sign.


We headed back to Jordan port which was quite a breezy experience although there were lines piling up. I would just like to add that it wasn't organized since you have to line up or make singit at your own risk so be careful when you are with kids. 

It was a quick ride back to Iloilo and this is where our Guimaras tour ends. I know it was just a short trip but pretty much everything on our itinerary that we wanted to do were accommodated except the island hopping which was out of our hands to decide on. 

To enjoy most of Guimaras, you may want to stay overnight near the beach. Raymen's beach is a famous one but there were other hotels around. There was also this big hotel that are being built when we were there. To sum up the expenses, please check below. 


The price of multicab can be divided in the number of people inside the cab but if you're a family, sulit na din naman. Also, please don't forget that your island hopping is solely based on how the sea's condition is. Better to go there on summer months to make the best of your island hopping.

I am really glad that finally, I stepped foot in Guimaras Island that I only get to hear or read on books or online. This was the 16th Philippine province so far and I am looking forward to at least visit half. Hehe. =)

Monday, July 31, 2017

Jami at School

You know I am really excited with this new milestone.



Jami is now officially a student! Hahaha! How I wish I could bring him to school everyday but I can't. We have a long way to go before I can become a stay-at-home Mom.

Our first week at school was a struggle. Jami doesn't participate in singing and discussion. He loves to run around, minsan humihiga pa sa sahig or worst, binubuhat ang mga upuan. Of course I was kinda sad and thought na baka masyado ko syang minadali. At first mejo pine pressure ko sya ng slight to listen to teacher etc. Then I felt bad kasi nga first week pa lang talaga ng school eh. Hahah!

I realized that I would have to let him be. Masyado pang mahilig mag play probably because the environment is new to him. We never get a chance to join a summer school since it's not being offered by the school he went to. Although I am confident that he knows the basic and can socialize when he feels like it, I am still worried that he might have an overwhelming feeling regarding this new experience.

I am just really glad that all of my worries was just a first time mommy scares. I am truly confident now that we are on track. After a month of going to school, ako pala ang mao-overwhelm with the amount of things that Jami knows. They did plenty of activities in their books and I am so proud to see perfect scores most of the time. So far, he had 2 mistakes over all activities they did. Sabi ni Nanay sobra naman daw ako maka push to make his scores perfect. But for me, mag aachieve ka na lang, bakit yung hindi pa perfect? If hindi naman maging perfect, just as long as he did his best, then we could try again next time. For me, I want Jami to learn to have a higher goal and achieve it than accept mediocre things when he knows he could have done more. I want him to continuously challenge himself. =)



We had our first exam week last week and I was really shocked na may pa exam na agad si teacher. Haha! I felt slightly nervous because exam na yun eh. I know Moms have tendencies to protect na kung pwedeng tayo na lang ang gumawa pero syempre we can't always help them. A lot of things should be done by themselves and it's necessary to train them this young.

In just a month ang dami na agad nilang na i discuss including the living and non-living things.


A post shared by Jen Alipio (@its_mommy_jen) on

From time to time, nag rereview din kami ng dinidiscuss nila sa school and everyday when I come home from work, I always ask him on what they did for the day. Automatic na din yan that he'll get his bag to show me his books.

I know we have a lot more to learn but seeing him improve really moves me. Ang sarap pala ng feeling that they have take homes from all those experiences. Last weekend, I asked him if happy ba sya sa school and he said Yes. I also asked the names of his friends. He mentioned Brandon and Iya daw.

Anyhow, in the coming days we will have our nutrition month parade and I'll be the one to go with him sa parade. Syempre stage mother tayo ng slight eh. hehe! I just need a costume for it or else we'll go with a hat with Glow Food then P.E uniform na lang. =D

Kayo ba? What are your school activities so far?

Friday, July 14, 2017

Our Jami Started Going to School

The year 2017 offered a lot of things to us. It's a combination of good and bad but still, I am so thankful that we can manage everything.

One of the good things that happened halfway thru the year was Jami going to school for the first time.

I am so excited!!!!!!!

I even planned to save a certain amount for a starter but something came up so we didn't keep that same amount after all. I was sad pero I am so grateful for our families for helping us throughout.

Despite of the struggle, it didn't stop us to continue our new milestone!



Jami is 3 years old, turning 4 this year so I have decided to send him to school. He was a candidate for Nursery 1 since he didn't get any school experience before. I tried looking for schools that offers a summer program for incoming Nursery student but most of the schools around our place don't have one. =(

How we chose the School


Quite frankly, I didn't have much option because we have limited amount of money. I don't even want to spend a fortune at this early stage so I was looking for a school that can give us quality education without creating havoc to our wallets.

My qualifications for choosing the school were:

  • Near our House - This is very important for me since I don't want Jami to get tired of commuting this early. Besides, with all the bad things that happens everywhere, nakaka trauma so gusto ko yung tipong walking distance lang from home. It's cost cutting somehow since I don't want to pay for tuition fee then pay for Jami's fare pa.  

  • Good Education Background - Of course we wanted to send our kids to school na hindi naman sila pababayaan and sure na meron matututuhan. I also want a school where there will be more than 1 teacher in a classroom so they can attend to each students' need.

  • Not too Expensive - with all the private school that's coming here and there, you have to know which school will offer you quality but cheaper naman ng konti diba? I heard pre-schools in Makati charges 30k-40k for a Nursery student! Imagine?? I can't pay that much even maging installment pa. I know we want the best education for our kids but it doesn't mean I have to pay that much naman. Probably when Jami's in elementary, mejo ma accept ko pa ng mejo masakit sa dibdib at katawan. hahahaha! 

Those are the top 3 things that I am looking for so I started searching for schools near our place. I have an officemate who's a pre-school teacher before and I asked about some things to be mindful of. All along I have this 3 school that are all walking distance away.

The first school I have in mind is a really big school with college students na din meaning it was really expensive talaga, around 40k na din in total. The second school was nearer but it was a small school. They offered Pre-school only and they have one room for nursery and kinder with different schedule.The last one is a day care center pero tatawid pa ng highway and I was kinda 50-50 on that kasi ayaw ko nga ng tatawid ng highway. Nakakapraning kaya with all those big trucks and buses diba! You'll never know.

So ending, we choose school number 2. Although it was a small school, it's cheaper compared to school 1 and a lot closer to our home. Jami doesn't have to cross the highway and that I heard good reviews from other moms about the quality of education from school 2. Anyway, I don't want to send him to school na sobrang expensive tapos hindi ko naman kayang bayaran diba? Or yung hirap na hirap naman akong mag commit sa expenses. I am sure it wouldn't be a very nice experience especially for Jami when he has to stop going to school because we can't afford or he would not take exams because wala pa akong pera to pay for his tuition fee. That'll break my heart big time kaya dun lang kami sa kaya ng bulsa namin ni Daryl. Hehe!



During summer, I went there to pay the reservation fee and saw our neighbor's kid. He was enrolled in a 1-1 tutorial class that the teacher's offered for their students. I was surprised that our neighbor can read! Matanda lang sya ng more than a year kay Jami and he only started school last year pero nakakabasa na sya in tagalog! I was so surprised, naalala ko kasi parang grade 3 na ako natuto mag basa hahahahaha!




Our tuition fee is quite reasonable and they have a very affordable installment plan. They charge for books separately along with school uniforms. We bought our own notebooks and the rest of Jami's school things from Robinson's and National bookstore.

I am looking forward to have a positive experience here in this school! =)

What about you Mommas? How did you choose your kids' school?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Circle Inn Hotel in Ilo-ilo

After our tiring day in Gigantes Island, we headed straight back to Ilo-ilo City where our accommodation for the night is waiting. We reached the city at around 2 to 3pm. Since we didn't get the chance to eat breakfast nor lunch on our way back to the city, we decided to eat in Jollibee along the way.

I would say, I missed Jollibee because I had a hard time with our food in Gigantes. I am not a fan of seafood so there was a slight struggle on that. Hahah! Don't get me wrong, I want to be as adventurous when it comes to food pero minsan, di ko talaga keri. Lol!

Anyway, Circle Inn Ilo-ilo is located near Ilo-ilo market and Ortiz wharf which was our entry point to Guimaras. My sister did the research and booked the place for us.

We were really tired after our trip from Gigantes so I was really looking forward to a much decent hotel we could stay. I cannot bear another disappointing hotel at that point (read here). I was really glad to see that the lobby looked homey and maaliwalas. It was a plus that they have a pool where the kids could enjoy. My sister checked us in while we gather our things. It costs us Php1,200/room.

We were given rooms in third floor so after we got hold of the key, umakyat na ako agad! Sobrang tiring talaga. Our original plan is to make  it to Guimaras for a half day tour then continue the next day. I guess we don't have enough energy to continue so it was a right move to take the half day off.

Circle Inn Hotel Lobby



This was just outside their lobby. They serve breakfast here, I think. We didn't take their breakfast anymore due to lack of time. We have to be really early for Guimaras the next day. On the left side of this photo was where their swimming pool is.






The kids enjoyed swimming here for an hour or two after we arrived while I got myself busy online. I had full day yesterday with no phone signal. Besides, the hotel's wifi has a good connection.


Our room!








I just realized now na wala pala akong photo of the bathroom. Hahah!

Anyway, I could say that I am satisfied with the room.

  1. It's big with comfy beds and pillows. 
  2. TV works fine with Sky Cable service provider.
  3. Complimentary coffee and tea.
  4. Clean rooms, restrooms, towels and bed.
  5.  They also provided clothes hanger and safety box inside the cabinet. 
  6. Wifi unit given to us upon check-in.
  7. In the heart of Ilo-ilo City. Walking distance to the market place and Ortiz wharf: your entry point to Guimaras. 
I am hoping they could improve on:
  1. No bidet.
  2. Broken exhaust fan on room 301.
  3. Air conditioning unit takes time to cool down the room. As in! 
The room key is attached to a key card that you have to insert on a panel upon entry to get the electricity running. Di ko kasi alam ang tawag dun. Haha! So when we left for dinner, we have to close down everything including the AC. When we got back to rest, it took 3-4 hours before the room felt cool. Although we had a good night sleep in our room despite of the AC, my sister's room wasn't cold at all even after overnight. They have to move the beds where the AC is to be comfortable. My nephew knocked on our door to sleep in our room that night. We were too lazy and tired to ask for another room because all we want to do is to recharge for another day of traveling.

I was thinking, they could have placed the AC where the bed is specially kung hindi naman lumalamig ang unit. Their ac units are placed across the door going out the room so kapag pumasok ka, akala mo malamig na but when you lie down sa bed, grabe! Joke lang pala yung lamig. Haha!

Well then, I would still say that I am happy with our stay even there were slight 'needs improvement section'.  The lady in the reception was accommodating too and they also allowed my sister to pay half day to extend the room use until 5pm.


The Circle Inn Hotel & Suites
Gov Fermin Caram St, Iloilo City Proper, 
Iloilo City, 5000 Iloilo, Philippines
+6333508 0000